Sunday, April 06, 2008


Sunday, April 6, 2008

These spaccatini, or "little cleft rolls," are another sampling from The Italian Baker. They are, according to Carol Field, from Lugano, and are "really something to sink your teeth into." I wasn't sure that sinking your teeth into was really a recommendation, but I wanted some dinner rolls that I could make ahead of time, freeze, and have for dinner on Wednesday, so I decided to give them a try.
These are very easy, except that they require a biga, so you have to start the night before you want them. The next day, after a rise, you divide them into sixteen pieces.

Or more. Or less. Because I am a direction-follower, I did 16.
Then the fun part--shape them into rolls, and then with a dowel, or wooden spoon handle, which you're more likely to have, make a deep indentation in the middle of the roll.

Turn them upside down, and let them rise again for about an hour. Then turn them rightside up, and bake, misting them with water three times in the first ten minutes. When they come out of the oven, they sound like Rice Krispies, with a lot of snap, crackle, and pop.
We tried a few tonight--to make sure that they were worthy of our Wednesday dinner guests. Fortunately, they were crusty and flavorful. As long as they survive the freezing, they should do.
Jim said they reminded him of the brochen he had many years ago, when he was stationed in Germany. It was the first time he had realized that bread could be crusty and delicious, not just something bland to slap peanut butter and grape jelly on. Over the years, these German brochen have attained a mystical quality in Jim's memory--the Platonic ideal of bread. If he thought they tasted like brochen, I knew they were good. And "spaccatini" is even more fun to say than "brochen."


Anonymous said...
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Melinda said...

Excellent! For the queen?
With a Jim seal of approval, too!

evil cake lady said...

Hey BBC, I think you got a little comment spam there...

But those rolls! They look delicious! And the "in progess" photos are great, too. Spaccatini is more fun to say.

Doughadear said...

They look so good I wish I could just reach into the screen and pull one out to try.

jini said...

so wednesday is d-day, and all will be marvelous for sure. just enjoy it all marie!!

breadbasketcase said...

Yes, none other! The Jim seal of approval is quite important, although he would say I regularly override him.

Re the comment spam: how do they do it so quickly? This comment came just seconds after my post. If all those spammers would use their technical ingenuity for the force of good, maybe we wouldn't be in a recession.

I wish you could too!

Thanks. Enjoying it is my goal!

Chai18 said...

You should try your hand at making matzah, while it doesnt taste that great, it is more of a cracker than a bread, it is a lot of fun to make, and you have to be fast they can only bake for 18 minutes.

breadbasketcase said...

Crackers are definitely on my list of things to learn how to make--but "doesn't taste that great" doesn't sound like much of a recommendation!

Chai18 said...

well i suppose you can always make it taste good, but traditional matzah is rather bland, being water and flour it doesn't have much taste.

Mrs. Mel said...

Of course I had to go back and revisit this blogentry after Rose came to dinner and mention the porno on your site. Too funny!
I love living your life vicariously. Wonderful dinner, and for all the guests you had, the price of that lamb was much much less than a restaurant bill would have been.
At least that is what I always tell myself...

breadbasketcase said...

Mrs. Mel,
I'm a little embarrassed now about the anatomically correct spaccatini, but it can't really count as porn when my intent was pure.
I tell myself the same thing.